Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Paper In Your Coffee

In: Life,

There are some people who don’t get the whole concept of an assembly line. You know who I’m talking about – those hanyacks at the Starbucks who come up beside you at the milk station, their panties in a bunch, tapping their foot, doing the hokey pokey at 8 o’clock in the morning because they are trying! to get around you! to use! the creamer!

And then the pressure’s on. Oh is it on! You start to get flustered. They’re staring at you. You’re holding them up. You’re holding everybody up. You drop your keys. Put the elbow of your suit jacket right in the puddle of non-dairy soy. Say “shit” out loud instead of under your breath. And just as you’re about to finish up—just one last packet of sugar to go!—it happens.

The corner of the sugar packet goes-a-floatin’ right into your coffee. It does that wet paper thing and then sinks, so now you’ve got to take your hand, make the universal stop sign to the feral dogs behind you like you’re some construction worker on I-95, and reach over to grab one of those bullshit little red wannabe straws, all so you can try and fish out this ridiculous piece of paper before they start a mob scene behind you and Starbucks burns to the ground.

There’s always going to be somebody on your ass, pushing, pleading, demanding, needing—whether you’re in Starbucks, in a business meeting, at a family reunion, or on a first date. (Though after that third bottle of wine, it might be you who’s doing the pleading.)

What matters isn’t who they are or what they’re doing—what matters is how much you let them distract you. You might just be making coffee, but you also might (finally) be writing that book, chasing those dreams, taking those steps, or doing what you’ve always secretly wanted to.

In other words, don’t let the hanyacks of the world step on your toes.

Because every chance they get, they will.

And every time you let them?

You won’t.

take the

25 DAYS TO $100K

Freelancer Challenge now!

Calibrate your freelance business to reach $100K this year just by making one small adjustment every day for twenty-five days. Enter your email to get started!

It's 100% free, just like the tears you wept over Ryan Gosling in The Notebook.



Would We Have Known These Were The Best Moments of Our Lives?

“She’s so proud of your traveling. She wants you to live the life she was afraid to live, but always wanted. You were always her greatest work of art.” Those were the words she said to me. She was my mom’s friend back in the moments of white Mustang convertibles, flirty bell bottoms, heart-filled hopes and […]

In: Life,




How to Start a Revolution (Or 3 Ways to Change the World)

See that baby face up there?  That’s my friend Karol–pronounced like Carl–who is a writer, traveler, & all around adventure-seeking bad ass over at Ridiculously Extraordinary.  Right now he’s living in Poland, but before that he was downing noodles in Thailand, dodging kangaroos in Australia, and doing the zen thing in India, to name a […]

In: Life,


How to become an unf*ckwithable freelancer

What does it mean to be unf*ckwithable? View the 10 commandments >>



Click here to tell me what *you* think + let your ideas be seen naked—and then sign your name on our wall of wonder.

Leave a Reply to Karen J Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 thoughts on "Paper In Your Coffee"

  1. Anita says:

    Love this Ash! I’m dealing with some of this stuff right now. This pos reminds of the Mary Oliver poem (The Journey) which has the line “Mend my life!” each voice cried.

  2. Thank you! I live with one of those “hanyacks.” I’m not letting that screw me up anymore cuz damn it! I’m awesome!

  3. Amazing + funny post. You’re a genius at this! My dad says the same “there will always be idiots around you, doesn’t mean you should actually listen to them or let them bring you down”.

  4. I have hanyacks on my friggin’ shoulders, one on each devil/angel style, telling me what I also have to do, how I didn’t prioritise properly and therefore what I should be doing instead, hurrying me along, making me flusteredly (is a word. now.) kack everything up. Foot-tapping away, Tut-Tutting too. Feckers. Their names are ‘Should’ and ‘Ought’ and I’m doing my best to conquer the little bastards… your post encourages me not only to NOT put up with bullshit from others, but also bullshit from myself!

    1. Karen J says:

      @Mariska – would that I could 1^ your comment about a thousand times! 🙂